Thursday, June 17, 2010

His & Hers - Arts Council Film Bursaries

Interesting to hear the marketing push on the radio for His & Hers which goes on release tomorrow. It's a conscious decision, I imagine, to market the film to women given the perception that men are attending to the World Cup and little else for the next few weeks.

Given last weekend's box office results that would appear to be the way the land lies at the moment with S&TC2 and Letters to Juliet doing okay business while Brooklyn's Finest in the third spot didn't quite hit €80k from 33 prints.

The lacklustre business should work to the benefit of His & Hers, allowing it to build some decent word of mouth over a couple of weeks with less pressure on screens from incoming product and before the primary schools close at the end of the month.

It will also be interesting to track the demographic response to the film. It is one of those Irish films that could play well to an older or cross-generational audience with stronger percentage admissions than usual from outside the greater Dublin area.

Within Dublin it will be interesting to see the comparative audience numbers for those 'art house' cinemas that usually do not compete with each other on the same titles. Will the strategy increase the audience significantly or split it between the venues?

It is a film I liked very much when I saw it last year. It is entertaining and moving but above all it is life-affirming, which is perhaps the best we can hope for when we go to the cinema. The easy rapport with its subjects is its greatest achievement, captured with some formidable composition which only once or twice strays momentarily into self-consciousness.

The only issue I have with the marketing I have heard so far is that it seems to infer that it's exclusively a film for women. It isn't.


The Arts Council announced artists' bursary awards last week. For many disciplines this was the first of two rounds this year, but not for film. It's disappointing therefore that only four bursaries were given to film makers. There is a second round bursary awards deadline of July 15 for Architecture, Dance, Literature, Traditional Arts, and Visual Arts. The bursary grant ceiling is €15,000.

The Council received 650 applications in Round 1 and offered 111 awards across eleven disciplines, as follows:
3 Architecture
4 Arts Participation
7 Dance
4 Film
22 Literature (in English)
4 Literature (in Irish)
14 Music
11 Theatre
3 Traditional Arts
5 Young people children and the arts
34 Visual artists

The film makers recieving the bursary award which supports professional individual artists working in the field of experimental or non narative [sic] film making to develop their arts practice are -

Agnieszka Grandowicz, Dublin - €12,000

Patrick Jolley, Waterford - €15,000 (Multi-annual, for the second year 2011)

Nicky Larkin, Offaly - €12,000

Joe Lawlor, International - €15,000

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